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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Thursday, April 20, 2000. Thursday, April 20, 2000

Today's weird thought: My.Mozilla.Netscape.Com?

Another weird thought. Why do artists have their own software companies (Adobe, Macromedia) and writers use Microsoft?

New Frontier verb: tcp.getMail.

I asked Jeff Cheney if he would start a Frontier Developers For Hire site, and he did. Thanks!

Ken MacLeod: Converting XML-RPC to SOAP.

Common Dreams: "We believe that objectivity is, in fact, a myth -- that everyone has a bias, everyone has an agenda -- and that corporations like major news corporations have a corporate bias."

Jon Udell: Web UI On The Cusp Of Change.

O'Reilly has been improving Meerkat, their "open wire service".

Today's Conxion news

Through Dan Gillmor, Conxion's John Seamster responded and I posted a response to his.

5PM: Private, constructive email has been going back and forth between UserLand and Conxion as a result of these two pieces. In my first email to Conxion I said. "It's really good to have Dan Gillmor act as an intermediary. The issues and disconnects are coming up. Why it took so long to begin this conversation is something worth thinking about, imho."

This is what I had hoped would happen if Dan took an interest, he could stay neutral, but help the two companies get back to their common principles of excellent engineering. This, as far as I'm concerned has never been in doubt, for either company, and it's been the basis of the relationship. I pointed out to Dan that we are still a Conxion customer, and that means something. Anyway, the ball is rolling in a positive direction now.



Consider the role that XML-RPC will play as this area of technology develops. The computer media thinks in terms of corporations. This has been a constant theme here. It's a disconnect. In fact, most innovations, if not all, come from small groups of developers working in obscurity, sometimes within large companies, but most of the time, not.

We'll be talking more about SOAP here in the next few weeks. A new spec is in process. New support from the industry, some companies that don't usually partner with Microsoft are signing on. I'll have some thoughts and lessons learned. Given the recent experience with Conxion, well, I'm going to tell you what I think anyway. I'm pretty confident that the big companies we're working with have thicker skins and are more realistic about their own limits.

In the end, I very much support SOAP because it's what the big companies can agree on, but I am still pushing for them all to support XML-RPC too, because it's the kind of protocol that small companies and open source groups can wrap their heads around. No more uber-operating systems, and at the same time, let's embrace the beauty of small groups of engineers working for love.

Momentary self-centered thought follows. Isn't it weird, we're participating in developing the next-level architecture for the Web, and we can't get a decent link to the Web?

Zeldman: "The nice thing about running an Internet business while disconnected from the Internet is that ... uh ... um ..."

A theory follows. The reason many people think I'm semi-retired is that all they ever heard from me was DaveNet. I often sound relaxed in those pieces, because I generally write them when I am relaxed. I multi-task well, but most people never stop to think that I actually am doing the things I write about. That's why I want them to come to the Web. And I don't care if they think I left them behind, because in a true sense, that's what happened.

Scripting News via email

Thanks to the early adopters for signing up for Scripting News via email. Apparently all the emails went out at 10PM, as they were supposed to. Now we're going to start transitioning to the service, it'll become a permanent feature in the "chrome" of Scripting News. We're going to build this service one step at a time.

Yesterday's Scripting News was more like a DaveNet for me. I suspect it will become more and more like that over time. Why now? I use Pike to write Scripting News. It's easy. Lovin it.

BTW, the daily updates feature uses XML-RPC to get the updates from the content system. It's absolutely not hard-coded to any particular site. It could work with any Manila site, or for that matter, with any content system that was minimally scriptable.

Survey results

Yesterday's survey had some interesting results.

The top three choices were Manila, Blogger and homegrown. Of course we'd expect a skew towards Manila, and a bunch of Blogger users read this page. But I was surprised to see so many homegrown content systems. Well, maybe not so surprised. This is Scripting News after all.

In September of last year Cameron Barrett compiled a comparative table of content management systems. A lot has changed since September! (Internet Time and all.) It would be great to have a similar table for various blogging tools, from Cam or elsewhere, so the homegrown people could see what features they could get if they switched to one of the tools.

It's best if an objective person does such an analysis, and that they get feedback from the vendors.

Napster and Gnutella

News.Com: "Napster will block access to people who are identified by copyright holders as violators," said Napster's attorney, Fenwick & West's Lawrence Pulgrum.

Jacob Levy: Dispatches from the Napster and Gnutella front.

Hey I'm full of weird thoughts. Why doesn't one of the artists make lemonade out of the Napster lemon, and release a low-res scan of one of their songs, a demo, with a link to a website where I can purchase the full-res scan, downloadable as an MP3 of course. One song for one artist. I bet you'd make a boatload of money. People want the music, lo-res is fine. For songs I play all day for a couple of weeks I'd pay $3 for the high-res version. The first one to do it would get huge flow. I'm surprised AOL hasn't done a toe-dip with this. Start with a Grateful Dead classic like Box of Rain or Truckin.

Today's song. "Come, we have work to do."

Weblogs.Com improvements

A new feature on Weblogs.Com, you can now specify a timezone in the viewFavorites macro, and in the JavaScript version of the feature. This is used on NetDyslexia to show a box of European weblogs (Euroblogs). It was really silly for these sites to show the times they changed in the Pacific timezone. Europeans don't think that way. They have their own timezones.

BTW, the Weblogs.Com favorites cache works properly now.

A Jewish-Chinese joke (Heard on NPR)

A rabbi, walking down the street in NY, sees a sign.

Moishe Teitelbaum Chinese Laundry.

Puzzled, he goes inside. An old Chinese man stands behind the counter.

"Do you own this laundry?" the rabbi asks. Yes.

"And your name is Moishe Teitelbaum?" Yes.

"If you don't mind my asking, how did you come by such a name?"

"When I came through Ellis Island, the man before me said his name was Moishe Teitelbaum.

"When my turn came, the man asked my name and I said Sam Ting."

Happy Passover One and All!


Last update: Friday, April 21, 2000 at 5:11 AM Eastern.

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